Statement by

Mr.Andrey V.DEMIDOV

Consul General of Russia

on the occasion of the

Russia Day

 

Every year in June we celebrate the National Day of new Russia the Russia Day.

On this occasion we look at the results of our work.

When we are talking about economic results of 2011 I would like to stress that we have nothing to be ashamed of, because these are good results. And these results are primarily the results of our peoples hard work in all sectors of industry and public service.

In the past four years Russia has built and commissioned more than 2,000 plants and production lines in various industries, including the pharmaceutical industry, IT and nanotechnology, construction materials and timber processing.

In 2011 more than 60 % of Russian enterprises invested in upgrading fixed assets, technological re-equipment and greater energy efficiency. The inflation in the past four years has been reduced from 13,6 % to 6,1 %.

At the start of 2012 Russias GDP was higher than before the crisis. This means that the national economy eventually recovered from the consequences of the recession of 2008 2009. For example Russias GDP totaled 41.421 trln roubles in 2011, up from 41.277 trln roubles in 2008. Today we have the highest economic growth rates in the G8 and one of the highest among the world major economies. It is 4,3 %. We are the third among major economies.

Russia is showing positive dynamics on all key indicators of development without exception, whereas in some countries the crisis has developed into a chronic condition, producing a protracted recession and growing unemployment.

We have overcome the crisis, while avoiding serious risks and a debt trap. We have preserved the stability of our national currency and the budget system. Russia is the only G8 country without a budget deficit in 2011. In fact we even have a small surplus.

As of April 1, 2012 Russias international reserves amounted to more than

$ 513.9 bln. We have the worlds third largest foreign exchange reserve after China and Japan.

Despite the crisis and its consequences real income of the population in Russia did not drop but even grew, although slightly. Since 2008 the average labour pension in Russia has increased by 150 %.

Soon a roadmap for all initiatives in industrial and economic development will be announced. In this roadmap we will focus on the issues of strategic, fundamental importance that have to do with our historical prospects as a nation.

Firstly, it is the demographic situation in Russia. Every Russian citizen counts today.

Secondly, Russia has the worlds largest territory. We must preserve and protect our territory from external threats and provide modern living and working conditions in all the countrys regions. Russias territory is a source of its potential strength. Now, given a sound economic strategy, the land can become a very important foundation for increasing our competitiveness.

Our third priority is the creation of new and sound jobs. We must provide millions of our people with well-paid jobs, that can give them high living standards and the opportunity to support a large family.

Our fourth basic goal is to build a new economy. In terms of importance this is probably the key one. The economy must be stable and capable of showing qualitative growth under tough competition.

Our fifth priority is to strengthen Russias positions in the world.

According to our estimates within two or three years Russia will become one of the worlds largest economies.

The realization of our plans needs huge investment. To increase the availability of loans for the real sector and decrease interest rates we will develop the banking system. We have launched a project to introduce a standard for creating a favorable investment climate in Russia. The goal is to make the best business practices available to all regional administrations.

We are trying to attract foreign capital to the Russian economy. We are opening up the most attractive areas of our economy to foreign investors, granting them access to our fuel and energy complex.

Defense contracting will also become a resource of modernization. About 23 trillion roubles will be allocated for re-armament of the Army and the Navy as well as modernization of the defense industry in the next decade.

Russia has a great cultural heritage, recognized both in the West and in the East. But we have yet to make a serious investment in our culture and in its promotion around the world. Russian culture is an extremely important foundation for developing human potential and preserving our identity as a single nation. We have approved the Russian Culture Federal Programme and are planning to allocate about 200 billion roubles on it.

Foreign policy is part and parcel of our strategy. External challenges and the changing world are compelling us to make decisions that have implications for the economy, for our culture, for the budget and for investment.

Russia is a part of the greater world. We do not wish to and cannot isolate ourselves. We are an open nation. And we hope that our openness will result in a higher living standards for Russia.

We intend to be consistent in proceeding from our own interests and goals rather than decisions dictated by someone else. Russia is only respected and considered when it is strong and stands firmly on its own feet. Russia has always enjoyed the privilege of conducting an independent foreign policy and this is what we will continue to do. In addition, I am convinced that global security can only be achieved in cooperation with Russia rather than by attempts to push it to the background, weaken its geopolitical position.

Russia is consistent in its policy of strengthening the international security.

We will continue our constructive course to enhance global security, renounce confrontation and counter such challenges as the proliferation of nuclear weapons, regional conflicts, terrorism and drug trafficking.

We will strive to ensure a new world order, one that meets current geopolitical realities, and one that develops smoothly and without unnecessary upheaval.

Russia has always had good relations with moderate representatives of Islam, whose world outlook was close to the traditions of Muslims in Russia. We are ready to develop these contacts further. We are interested in stepping up our political, trade and economic ties with all Muslim countries.

It is our firm conviction that in todays world there is no alternative to a mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries in different spheres. This is our main approach toward the issue of bilateral relations between Russia and Pakistan. We believe that our relations should and can be mutually beneficial. The basic factor that enables us to seek closer ties is absence of a single political problem that divides us.

We in Russia recognize the important role of Pakistan in modern world. It is one of the leading states in Islamic world and the only Muslim nation possessing nuclear weapons. Pakistan plays vital role in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, SAARK and others. We do not underestimate the role of Pakistan in ensuring regional stability and security in the settlement of Afghan issue in promoting regional economic integration.

Our political leaders meet on regular basis. During 2011 presidents of Russia and Pakistan met six times at the sidelines of different international forums. Both sides emphasize the importance of developping bilateral economic cooperation and trade. The fields of energy, steel production, telecommunications, space technologies, oil and gas were mentioned as leading areas of cooperation.

In the past we had a very good example of mutually beneficial cooperation that is the Pakistani Steel Mills. And I want to emphasize that the project was built when bilateral relations were not very bright. The enterprise was inaugurated more than 30 years ago. And it is still operational. The machinery built in the Soviet Union, although old, is still working without any serious technical problem.

Of course the Pakistani Still Mills needs to be upgraded. Of course new machinery is to be supplied. The production level is to be brought up. And we are prepared to come and to modernize the project.

In this respect I personally want to stress that the follow-up of our bilateral cooperation around the Pakistani Steel Mills can move forward the whole complex of our bilateral cooperation.

We all know that Pakistan is experiencing energy deficit. But let us not forget that Russia is the worlds biggest energy supplier. Our assistance in the field of energy can be rendered in the form of oil and gas supplies.

In October last year Russia rendered emergency assistance to flood victims in Sindh. Two Russian cargo jet planes delivered to Karachi 84 tons of food supplies, tents, water pumps, blankets etc.

In last May we witnessed a very important visit to Russia of H.E. Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. In November 2011 we followed with keen interest very successful visits to Moscow and Saint-Petersburg of two Pakistani delegations: a delegation headed by Honourable Chief Minister of Sindh, and a delegation led by the President of the Federation of Pakistani Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

And of course I would like to underline a landmark visit to Moscow and talks with our Foreign Minister Mr. Sergey Lavrov by Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, Foreign Minister of Pakistan. In the course of the talks two ministers have admitted that the contacts between Russia and Pakistan are getting more and more active. These contacts cover more and more fields of activities. We have an intense political dialogue including the dialogue on the top level. There are good prospects for bilateral cooperation between Russia and Pakistan in realizing big transnational energy project, connecting Central Asia and South Asia. We hope the agreements reached during those visits will be materialized for the benefit of our two countries and peoples.

As you all know the Prime Minister Gilani during the telephone conversation with Mr. Vladimir Putin after the latters victory at the Presidential Elections in Russia in March 2012 invited him to visit Pakistan. The invitation was accepted. We expect to see our new President in Pakistan soon

Russia intends to continue promoting its security and protecting its national interests by actively and constructively engaging in global politics and in efforts to solve global and regional problems. We are ready to work for mutually beneficial cooperation and open dialogue with all our foreign partners. We aim to understand and take into account the interests of our partners, and at the same time we ask that our own interests be respected.

It is symbolic that we are embarking on this work in a year that has been declared the Year of Russias History. The destiny of Russia and its thousand-year journey have been determined by historic milestones. Our generation must be worthy of that great history and of our great people who created this great country. Today we, like our ancestors, centuries ago, must draw inspiration from the faith in Russia and love for Russia.